What is Orchard House?
Orchard House was set up to help families stay together, and to help decisions be made about children's futures. We are asked by the Court to help them decide whether a child is safe to live with their parents at home in the future, and what support they might need to make this ok.
Mostly we do this by families coming to live in one of our two houses, Middleway and Greenway Road. The houses always have staff there (day and night) and the families have cameras in the rooms. This means that the children can be seen without a person having to be in the room too. Many parents prefer the cameras to having someone with them all the time. This means that we are able to give the Court a lot of clear and proven information about how a family is, day and night and over time.
Orchard House are not social services. We are often asked to get involved with families because we are independent. We are a team of people, mostly social workers and psychologists, who work to help children and their families. Sometimes this is by offering groups, help, and support. Sometimes this is by spending time with families, getting to know them, and then writing this up so that professionals, or the Family Court, can make the best and safest decision for the child.